If I had I.D.

What’s up fam,

In a widely expected decision, the Michigan Supreme Court affirmed the voter I.D. law, requiring photo or other proof that voters are who they say they are. Michigan now joins 19 other states in disenfranchising people of color and low-income folks. The ironic conservative argument is that they want to prevent election fraud when they are experts at election fraud. (see Bush’s election in 2000 and 2004)

Regardless, I am happy to know good people that are challenging this ruling on legal grounds. While that is happening however, we must be vigilant in making sure that securing proper identification is an integral part of our voter registration campaigns. I personally am going to work with election reform minded folks here in Michigan and see if we can get the Secretary of State to allow groups that do voter registration work to get the information (photo, address, etc.) so that our people will be allowed to vote without standing in line for hours

One of the greatest lines in hip hop is when Common said, “If I had I.D., I wouldn’t need I.D.” The stakes are high.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.



3 responses to “If I had I.D.”

  1. super_mujer06 says :

    Do you know the reason why people of color and low-income people have such an issue with government issued identification? When I was first reading your article I did not see a problem with making people show I.D. to vote. I was actually alarmed the last time I went to vote and no one asked me for I.D. I had probably never noticed it, but it made me wonder how secure it was to walk up and just say a name and be allowed to vote. Maybe you can explain more about what the problem is with making it law to have ID to vote. I am not getting the full argument.

  2. Garlin II says :

    Conservatives have been successful in framing the problems with our recent elections as “voter fraud” instead of “election fraud.” There is a subtle, yet very important difference. Voter fraud is people purposely voting in an illegal manner, whereas election fraud is deliberately suppressing votes in a systematic way. Voter fraud is really, really blown way out of proportion; election fraud has happened in at least 2 of the last 4 elections, and the hearings going on now are exposing plans to fraudently alter the 2008 election.

    B, can you also talk about the legal grounds on which they’re challenging this in your response?

    Lastly, just for clarification, that was Mos Def’s line (it was on Common’s album).

    One Love. One II.

  3. Brandon Q. says :

    Ohhhhh G, now I feel like I need to turn in my hip hop card. 🙂 Anyways, thank you for breaking down the difference between election and voter fraud, couldn’t have said it better myself.

    The legal strategy involves filing charges in court that the photo id law is actually in violation of the Voting Rights Act. I will keep you posted.

    Super, this is from http://www.reformelections.org/

    Acquiring a state ID requires time and expense on the part of the voter, which may prove a barrier especially to voters without cars, a population that is likely urban, low-income, elderly, or disabled. Many elections experts agree that any state imposing these requirements should make acceptable ID easy to obtain and available free of charge.

    Besides being potentially burdensome to those without driver’s licenses, voter ID requirements could turn away eligible voters with ID as well. For example, if a piece of identification does not contain the voter’s current address, he or she may be turned away from the polls. Thousands of people possess drivers’ licenses that do not show their current addresses. As mentioned before, confusion over what constitutes acceptable ID may also lead to eligible registered voters being given a provisional ballot.

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